Volume 50, Issue 2 - February 2015

GANA Perspectives

A Fresh Approach
New Decorative Website Gets a Whole New Look

by Erin Roberts

Last year I had the good fortune of attending NeoCon, a massive design expo and conference for everything and anything dealing with interior design. The Glass Association of North America (GANA) hosted an exhibit booth representing the various design capabilities of our decorative division member companies. It was my first real glimpse at the unlimited possibilities for incredible design using glass—and that was just a taste of what’s possible indoors. The options for the exterior are endless as well.

That event inspired discussion about the GANA-owned website, decorativeglazing.com. This site is a huge resource that showcases many design projects to which our members contribute. It provides an overview of glass products that are available to enhance both interior and exterior designs, as well as a gallery of incredible finished projects, exemplifying the power of great design.

But this website, which showcases incredible architectural design, is a little lackluster itself. The GANA decorative division is now in the process of redesigning the website, which will enhance the user experience through a clean, modern design and user-friendly navigation.

"No matter what you’re
creating, high-quality
design relies on a
combination of both
attention-grabbing and
functional components."

What’s in a Good Site Design?

No matter what you’re creating, high-quality design relies on a combination of both attention-grabbing and functional components. And to ensure our website is highly functional, we start by considering the end-user. For instance, a study from the Nielsen Norman Group shows that “Web users spend 80 percent of their time looking at information above the page fold. Although users do scroll, they allocate only 20 percent of their attention below the fold.” Knowing this critical pattern of behavior helps determine where to place key elements to guide the user.

Guiding the User

Imagine a black dot in the middle of a blank piece of white paper. Are you focusing on the dot? Of course you are. Surrounding the black dot with a sea of “white space” sends a subliminal message that guides the eye where it needs to go. Similarly, a website can use design components (such as white space) to lead the user to the content they seek.

The new decorativeglazing.org will feature classic design components as well as modern website design concepts that help a site become interactive. For instance, our new homepage will have a prominent, rotating slideshow to grab the user’s attention as soon as they open the page. Just above the slideshow will sit a classic navigation bar aiding the user in finding information.

Strong aesthetic appeal on a website, such as a prominent slideshow, is critical. According to a recent article on Time.com, Chartbeat CEO Tony Haile indicates an average website reader will only pay attention for approximately 15 seconds. This means our new website has to provide obvious solutions and intriguing information for our visitors.

What to Expect

The new site will not only incorporate a new design, it will continue to provide great content for designers, architects and industry stakeholders. Features will include a gallery of projects from GANA members, a glossary of various types of decorative glass from which to choose when creating a design, and a directory showcasing our members, complete with contact information and product brochures. In addition, the site will contain technical resources and insight into future trends in decorative glass products. Decorativeglazing.com will be a valuable tool for industry professionals to return to time and again for up-to-date design inspiration and critical technical guidance.

The new and improved website will launch March 1, 2015 and will be featured at the GANA Annual Conference in Las Vegas March 5-8, 2015.

the author

Erin Roberts
is the director of marketing and communications for the Glass Association of North America in Topeka, Kan.

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